Links


  • Record Stores


  • Academy Records, LPs and Annex
    The Academy Annex in Williamsburg is my favorite place to buy used records.

  • Amoeba Music
    San Francisco, Berkeley and LA. Best in the West.

  • Boomkat
    UK based site specializing in Electronic, Ambient, Post-Folk, IDM and more

  • Generation Records
    This Greenwich Village staple has attitude. Great for punk, hardcore and much more.

  • Insound
    Top online independent retailer. Great deals and selection.

  • Other Music
    Among the best independent record stores in New York City.

  • Permanent Records
    Greenpoint, Brooklyn. My favorite store to browse.

  • Sonic Boom Records
    Along with KEXP, the reason that I could survive a move to Seattle

  • SoundFix
    Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They've developed a great website and have online ordering as well.



If you’re familiar with my site you’ll know that I champion venues which have good acoustics. However, is there such a thing as too good when it comes to sound?

This week I finally saw a show at the newish Nokia Theater in Times Square. I have to hand it to whoever designed the acoustics there. The walls and ceiling are covered with sound absorbing panels, practically eliminating reverb and allowing the engineer to have total control over the sound. However, everything sounds lifeless and the experience is not intimate at all. The sound doesn’t even appear to be coming from the stage. It’s as if you are listening to the band’s album surrounded by annoying drunk teenagers. Thanks, but I can do that at home and save $31 while not having to repress the urge to kill the inconsiderate jerks in front of me.

Modest Mouse – Float On (live at Nokia Theater)

Now, last Friday I found myself on the opposite end of the acoustics spectrum. I saw The Shondes at the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope in a cavernous room that was too reverberant for it’s own good. This place makes Webster Hall sound like the Bowery Ballroom. Still, I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head.

The Shondes – What Love Is (live at the Brooklyn Lyceum)

So on one hand, you have a older band that I’ve loved for years, playing an acoustically “perfect” venue for two hours. On the flip side, there’s a young band that I’d recently heard for the first time, playing in an echo chamber for half an hour. And here’s the moral that you probably saw coming for a while now. I enjoyed watching The Shondes play much more than I enjoyed Modest Mouse.

The Modest Mouse show was one of the most disappointing concerts I’ve been to this year. Blame it on the annoying crowd, blame it on their setlist, blame it on the Tetons… or blame it on the sound in Nokia. Even if they were trying to sound exciting, the message would have been lost by the time it reached the speakers. And don’t get me started on this new “dance rock” version of “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes”. I was really pulling for them to play songs from my favorite album – until I heard this. I still like Modest Mouse a whole bunch, but they’re not the same band who recorded the albums that made me fall in love with them.

Modest Mouse – Tiny Cites Made of Ashes (live at Nokia Theater)

The Shondes (Yiddish for “disgrace” or “outrage”) are a young Brooklyn band who refer to themselves as “queercore” and revel in being outcasts among outcasts. Their songs combine energetic distorted guitar, frantic drums and multiple vocal lines to create politically charged indie/punk rock in true riot grrrl fashion. This gentile can’t claim to fully understand their politics, but I am fascinated by their passion and desire to use music as a vehicle for their beliefs. Read more about them at their website and in this article from the Village Voice.

The Shondes – I Watched The Temple Fall (live at the Brooklyn Lyceum)

[The last residual effect of my completely destroying the website two weeks ago is that I haven’t been able to edit the sidebar (which I realize has said “August” for three months). You should be aware that Limbs is on my radar this week – Thursday night at NorthSix.]


5 Responses to “Sound Isn’t Everything – The Shondes & Modest Mouse”

  1. 1 david

    I like modest mouse’s early work very much as well, always have, met them once a while ago. You don’t really sell beds do you

  2. 2 Chris Lafoe

    Just tell me one thing. The last set list you put together, and the last venue you ran sound at. No shit they’re not the same band they wer five or ten years ago. My band’s not the same as it was five to ten months ago. If you can’t show up and appreciate the here and now, then stay home and fuck yourself. The last time I saw Modest Mouse there was a joint in the hand of everyone but you, I got pissed on and suffocated by a drunk crowd, and I had a great time. Songs and sets change always, if you haven’t gotten that yet you’re not a real Modest Mouse fan. If you can’t rock n roll stay home. If I see you at a show i’ll make sure to spill my beer on you. I pray to myself that nobody respects your oppinion.

  3. 3 Ryan

    The last set list I put together:

    The Dog
    Summer Song
    B.R.A.S.H.
    Bleed
    (new untitled song)
    Seductive Song
    The Alchemist
    Pilot! Pilot!
    A True Story From Room 315

    The last venue I ran sound at:

    Hank’s Saloon, unless you count producing the Explosions In The Sky show at The Society for Ethical Culture last week.

    For the record, that was two things. Neither one makes me an expert on anything, but I’m still allowed to form and defend my own opinons. If you can enjoy a show while being pissed on and suffocated that’s cool with me. And if I’m disapointed with Modest Mouse’s live show I have every right to be. I’m not trying to say that bands don’t change, I’m just saying that I’m not obligated to like the way they do. It happened with Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World… the list goes on. Sometimes it’s the band, sometimes it’s my taste in music… but it’s still only an opinion and it shouldn’t be taken as an insult to the band or to their fans. I guess I don’t adhere to the notion that “real fans” have no right to be critical of the performers whose art they support. Any rational person can choose to agree or disagree with me. And you can choose to tell me – in no uncertain terms – that I should fuck myself. It’s not going to change my opinon.

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The Hype Machine

Recent Shows


2011

I finally saw The Dismemberment Plan and my life is complete. Enjoy the archives.

Past Shows


2010

8/28 The National Rifle [KFN]

8/15 !!! [East River Park, NY]

7/24 Cap'n Jazz [Starlight Ballroom]

7/2 Busses [Johnny Brenda's]

6/24 Wakey! Wakey! [North Star Bar]

6/25 - 6/26 Northside Festival (Marie Stella, The Grates, Dinosaur Feathers...) [Brooklyn]

6/22 Villagers [FUC - Chapel]

6/16 The Most Serene Republic, Annuals [North Star Bar]

6/2 The Futureheads, The Like [FUC - Basement]

5/2 The Album Leaf [FUC - Sanctuary]

5/5 Bear Hands [World Cafe Live]

4/10 Pilam Human BBQ (Algernon Cadwallader, These United States)

4/9 Freezepop, Cannon Logic [North Star Bar]

4/2 Band of Skulls, The Whigs [North Star Bar]

3/16 - 3/21 SXSW (Octopus Project, The Megaphonic Thrift, Local Natives, We Were Promised Jetpacks...) [Austin, TX]

2/19 Memory Tapes, Neon Indian [Making Time - Voyeur]

1/22 Freelance Whales, Animal Tropical [KFN]

1/21 Savior Adore, Circadian Rhythms [KFN]

1/14 River City Extension [North Star Bar]

2009

12/4 The Wrens [Maxwell's]

12/2 Jaguar Love [Mercury]

11/29 Zero 7 [TLA]

11/17 J TIllman [FUC - Chapel]

10/20 - 10/24 CMJ [New York]

9/12-9/13 Monolith [Denver, CO]

8/28-8/30 After The Jump Fest [Littlefield]

8/14 Starlight Mints [North Star Bar]

8/8 A Crimson Grail for 200 Guitars [Lincoln Center]

7/18 Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/16 Rit Mo Collective [Chris' Jazz Cafe]

6/26 The Most Serene Republic [North Star Bar]

6/11 - 6/14 Northside Festival

6/5 White Rabbits [Johnny Brenda's]

5/30 Jodienda [The Glass Door]

5/29 Pet Ghost Project, Dinosaur Feathers, Quiet Loudly [Fontana's]

5/23 United Nations [Delancey]

5/21 White Rabbits, Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Antlers [Bowery]

5/20 St. Vincent, Pattern Is Movement [Webster]

5/15 Marie Stella, Coyote Eyes [Portland, ME]

5/9 The Lisps [Joe's Pub]

5/8 Mono [Society for Ethical Culture]

5/3 No Doubt [Bamboozle]

5/2 The Get Up Kids [Bamboozle]

5/1 The Beets, pow wow! [Red Star Bar]

4/22 Into The Presence [Pianos]

4/18 The Life and Times [Webster Studio]

4/16 Middle Distance Runner [The Annex]

4/15 Nada Surf [Bell House]

4/10 The Wrens [Bell House]

4/2 Asobi Seksu [Bowery Ballroom]

3/17 SXSW

3/13 The Wrens / Titus Andronicus [Bowery]

3/6 The Bird and The Bee [Bell House]

3/5 Antlers / The Physics of Meaning [Union Hall]

2/28 ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead [Bowery]

2/27 Uninhabitable Mansions / Spacecamp [Union Hall]

2/26 Bell Orchestre / Clogs / Brooklyn Phil [BAM]

2/26 Tally Hall / Oppenheimer [Union Hall]

2/25 Ben Kweller [Town Hall]

2/23 Jimmy Eat World [Terminal 5]

2/18 Sam Roberts Band [Bowery Ballroom]

2/17 Fugiya & Miyagi / School of Seven Bells [LPR]

2/2 Frightened Rabbit [LPR]

1/26 Beirut [Coco66]

1/3 Holy Moly [Pete's Candy Store]

2008

10/8 Barbara Morgenstern [Galapagos]

9/20 My Bloody Valentine [Roseland]

9/11 Land Of Talk [Mercury]

8/25 Lykke Li [LPR]

8/22 Lykke Li [Amoeba - Hollywood]

8/22 Radiohead [Hollywood Bowl]

8/20 Broken Social Scene, Menomena [Sunset Junction]

8/15 Manuel Göttsching [Lincoln Center]

7/31 The Long Winters [Castle Clinton]

7/24 Ambulance LTD [Bowery]

7/18 Deerhoof, Metropolis Ensemble [Prospect Park]

7/17 Ted Leo [Castle Clinton]

6/26 Devo [McCarren Pool]

6/21 After The Jump Fest [Williamsburg]

6/19 Man In Grey's farewell show [Delancey]

6/4 M83 [Bowery]

5/29 Hello Eden [Rebel]

5/28 Birdmonster [Mercury]

5/2 Stars of the Lid [Good Shepherd Church]

4/17 Gelsey Bell [Goodbye Blue Monday]

4/3 Helio Sequence [Bowery]

3/21 Jens Lekman [Hollywood, CA]

3/18 The Lisps [Los Angeles, CA]

3/12-16 SXSW [Austin, TX]

1/27 Laura Veirs [Union Hall]

1/16-17 Wordless Music Orchestra (Adams, Bryars, Greenwood) [St. Paul the Apostle]

2007

12/20 Wakey! Wakey!, Jason Joseph [Arlene's]

12/14 The Most Serene Republic [Mercury]

12/13 Cake, Brazillian Girls, Oakley Hall [Terminal 5]

12/12 Wakey! Wakey!, Jukebox the Ghost [Mercury]

11/28 Max Richter, Cepia, Assaff Weisman [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

11/10 Mum, Hauschka, Bing and Ruth [Society for Ethical Culture]

11/9 Mum, Torngat [St. Paul the Apostle]

11/3 Grizzly Bear, Michael Harrison [Society for Ethical Culture]

10/16-20 CMJ (Spoon, The Octopus Project, The Most Serene Republic, Saturday Looks Good To Me,1900's, Biffy Clyro, Freezepop...)

10/5 Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Sandro Perri [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

9/24 Beirut, Colleen [Society for Ethical Culture]

9/21 The Most Serene Republic [Union Hall]

9/20 Beirut, Fifth Veil [Brooklyn Masonic Temple]

9/15 Do Make Say Think [The Middle East, Boston]

9/14 Do Make Say Think, Electric Kompany [Society for Ethical Culture]

8/29 Feist [McCarren]

8/25 After The Jump Festival [Studio B]

8/23 The Rentals [Nokia]

8/21 The New Pornographers [Bowery]

8/19 Wolf Parade [Warsaw]

8/12 Junior Senior [Soundfix]

8/12 Ted Leo/Pharmacists, The Thermals [McCarren]

8/9 Daft Punk [Keyspan]

7/28 Benni Hemm Hemm [Union Hall]

7/23 Eastern Conference Champions [Pianos]

7/4 The New Pornographers [Battery Park]

6/11 Feist [Town Hall]

6/2 Man In Grey [Union Hall]

5/12 LCD Soundsystem [Studio B]

5/8 The Shondes, Beat Radio [Delancey]

5/5 Arcade Fire, The National [Tower Theater]

4/30 The Books [Society for Ethical Culture - Wordless Music Series]

4/24 Pela [Mercury]
Wakey Wakey, Casey Shea [Pianos]

4/14 Cloud Cult, Young Galaxy [Mercury]

4/12 Eastern Conference Champions [Union Hall]

4/2 Amiina, Eluvium, Gilles Vonsattel [Good Shepherd Faith Church - Wordless Music Series]

3/31 The Long Winters, The Broken West [Mercury]

3/28 Menomena [Bowery]

3/23 Toca Loca, Polmo Polpo, Social Music Work Group [Good Shepherd Faith Church]

3/14-3/18 SXSW

3/9 Matt & Kim, Professor Murder [Bowery]

3/7 Mirah, The Blow [NYU]

3/1 Thunderbirds Are Now!, Tigercity [Knitting Factory]

2/20 Explosions In The Sky [Society for Ethical Culture]

2/19 Explosions In The Sky [Warsaw]

2/18 Malajube, Rock Plaza Central [Mercury]

2/17 The Muggabears, Please Dept [The Delancey]
Gelsey Bell [Vivaldi Cafe]

2/16 The Arcade Fire [Judson Memorial Church]
Pela [Mercury]

2/11 Steven Malkmus and the Jicks [Maxwell's]

2/10 Sure Juror [Pianos]

1/30 Peter, Bjorn and John [Bowery]

1/27 Liam & Me, The GoStation, White Rabbits, Seth Kallen + The Reaction [Sin-e]

1/19 The Wrens [Knitting Factory]

1/18 The Hold Steady [Northsix]

1/13 Gil Mantera's Party Dream, Free Blood [Knitting Factory]

1/6 Matt & Kim, Meneguar, Aa [Studio B]

2006

12/20 Bridges & Powerlines [Pianos]

12/16 Rainer Maria, Pela, Daylight For The Birds [Bowery]

12/15 Bell, Lismore, Theives Like Us, The Ballet [Delancey]

12/13 Bound Stems, Ra Ra Riot, The Muggabears [Sin-e]

12/09 Oxford Collapse [Northsix]

11/28 ¡Forward, Russia! [Bowery]

11/22 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

11/20 The Little Ones, Small Sins [Mercury Lounge]

11/15 A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Andrew Bird [GSF Church]

11/14 Bad Viens [Knitting Factory]

11/13 Modest Mouse [Nokia]

11/10 The Shondes [Brooklyn Lyceum]

11/6 Voxtrot [Bowery]
Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

10/31 - 11/4 CMJ [Everywhere]

10/21 Maritime, Bound Stems [Mercury]

10/17 TV On The Radio, Grizzly Bear [Irving]

10/15 Okkervil River, Sam Champion [Bowery]

10/14 Okkervil River, Elvis Perkins [Bowery]

9/30 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]

9/29 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]
The Long Winters [Bowery]

9/27 The Big Sleep, The Rogers Sisters, The Occasion (Movable Hype 9.0) [Spiegeltent]

9/26 O'Death, DraculaZombieUSA (Beg Yr Pardon #9) [Delancey]

9/18 Wordless Music Series (Glenn Kotche & Nels Cline, Jenny Lin, Elliot Sharp) [GSF Church]

9/15,16,17 Austin City Limits Festival (Explosions In The Sky, Okkervil River, The Long Winters, Nada Surf, Ben Kweller, Ted Leo, Stars, The New Pornographers, Husky Rescue, What Made Milwaukee Famous...)

9/13 The Grates [Pianos]

9/12 The Dears, The Grates [Bowery]

9/3 Mono, Fridge [Bowery]

9/2 Explosions In The Sky [Bowery]

8/31 Asobi Seksu, Say Hi To Your Mom, Cassettes Won't Listen [Maxwell's]

8/29 Casey Dienel, Inlets [Union Hall]

8/25 Ted Leo (free) [South Street Seaport]
Beirut [Mercury]

8/24 My Brightest Diamond [Speigeltent]

8/23 826NYC benefit w/David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, John Roderick [Beacon Theater]

8/21 The Diggs, Slowlands [CBGB]

8/18 The Mugs, The Isles [Union Hall]

8/17 Takka Takka, Slowlands [Union Hall]

8/12 Sleater-Kinney, The Thermals [Portland, OR]

8/8 The Long Winters [Mercury Lounge]

8/7 Silversun Pickups [Union Hall]

8/4 Hot Chip [South Street Seaport]

8/3 The New Pornographers [Summerstage]

7/23 Pretty Girls Make Graves [McCarren Park Pool]

7/21 Jens Lekman, Beirut [Bowery]

7/19 Jens Lekman [Mercury]

7/15 Casey Shea [Knitting Factory]
Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/14 My Brightest Diamond [Joe's Pub]

7/13 Okkervil River [Castle Clinton]
Oh No! Oh My!, The Big Sleep [Supreme Trading]

7/11 Movable Hype 8.0 [Knitting Factory] w/ Takka Takka, Femme Generation, Goes Cube

7/9 Cursive [Mercury]
Les Savy Fav [McCarren Park Pool]

7/7 The Undisputed Heavyweights [Rockwood]

7/6 Broken Social Scene [Prospect Park]
Mates of State [Castle Clinton]

7/4 Belle & Sebastian [Battery Park]

6/30 Birdmonster, Tally Hall, The Talk [Sin-e]
Matt Pond PA, Voxtrot [Prospect Park]

6/29 Land of Talk, Tokyo Police Club, The Ballet [Syrup Room]

6/28 Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Knitting Factory]

6/27 The Grates [Mercury]

6/25 The Undisputed Heavywights [Rockwood]

6/22 Asobi Seksu [Mercury]

6/17 Beirut [SoundFix]

6/15 Saturday Looks Good To Me [Northsix]

6/14 !Forward, Russia! [Mercury]

6/13 Eels, Smoosh [World Financial Center]
The Boy Least Likely To [Knitting Factory]

6/11 !!! [Northsix]

6/6 Nada Surf, stellastar* [Starlight Ballroom]

6/2 Radiohead [Tower Theater, Philly]

5/27 & 5/28 Sasquatch Music Festival [The Gorge, WA]

5/22 Art Brut [Soundfix]

5/20 Pela [brooklyn rooftop]

5/19 Land of Talk, Slowlands [Mercury Lounge]
Land of Talk, Dr. Dog (KEXP in NYC) [Gigantic Studios]

5/17 Art Brut, Art Brut 47 (We Are Scientists) [Knitting Factory]

5/12 White Rose Movement [Bowery Ballroom]

5/10 Nada Surf (acoustic) [Mercury Lounge]

4/25 Jamie Lidell [Bowery Ballroom]

4/21 The Undisputed Heavyweights, Cloud Cult [Arlene's Grocery]

4/17 Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

4/11 Art Brut, The Rogers Sisters [Southpaw]

4/10 Wolf Parade [Webster Hall]

4/9 Voxtrot, Irving [Mercury Lounge]

4/7 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

4/5 Art Brut, Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Bowery Ballroom]

4/4 Art Brut, The Ponys [Bowery Ballroom]

4/1 Dream Theater [Radio City Music Hall]

3/31 Nine Black Alps [Bowery Ballroom]

3/30 Editors, The Big Sleep [Webster Hall]

3/28 Editors, stellastarr* [Warsaw]

3/22 The Go! Team [NorthSix]

3/21 Magnet [Living Room]

3/11 Belle & Sebastian, New Pornographers [Riverside Theater, Milwaukee]

3/8 The Wedding Present [Bowery]

3/2 Ted Leo/Rx [The Hook]

2/11 Gelsey Bell [Cafe Vivaldi]

2/10 Feist, Mates of State, Jason Collett [Webster]

2/9 Jason Collett [Mercury]

1/27 Broken Social Scene [Webster]

1/16 Nine Black Alps [Mercury]

1/14 Sufjan Stevens [Lincoln Center/Allen Room]

1/12 Tapes 'N Tapes, Sam Champion [Rothko]

1/11 Imogen Heap [Avalon]

3K2 theme by Hakan Aydin


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